AMS Spring 2023

First Acquisition Pushes Authentise Beyond 3D Printing

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3D printing software developer Authentise has made its first acquisition, purchasing all assets of Elements Technology Platform, a British provider of workflow tools for manufacturing. The deal will further allow Authentise to grow from additive manufacturing (AM) into other production technologies, with the Elements team also joining that of Authentise.

“Elements is the perfect addition to the Authentise portfolio,” says Andre Wegner, CEO of Authentise. “Like Authentise, Elements have been laser focused providing manufacturing operations with the flexibility they need in the post-pandemic world with the efficiency that data enables in the 21st Century.”

Through its manufacturing execution system (MES), aMES, Authentise offers a complete digital ecosystem for tracking manufacturing information across a factory. This includes everything from past and live production data to machine scheduling, automatic price quoting, order management, and analytics. Moreover, it can be integrated into existing IT infrastructure, such as product lifecycle management and enterprise resource planning tools. With all of the above, the company has been able to reduce order management times by 80 percent and manufacturing prep times by 95 percent at Boeing Additive Manufacturing.

Elements and Authentise tools combined. Image courtesy of Authentise.

The addition of Elements to Authentise’s arsenal will allow the company to expand beyond AM. The U.K. firm develops technology that is not unlike that of the acquiring company. Their Docket provides real-time visualization of operations, predicting order fulfillment times and digitizing information. This includes the ability to convert handwritten documents into digital ones.

“Elements provides customers with a unique self-serve tool for all types of manufacturing operations, to quickly create, capture and access repeatable shop floor processes,” Wegner added. “Delivering intelligent production planning & scheduling, and real time views of production customers can track orders, like they’re paying for coffee. These exciting services will become a key part of the combined Authentise portfolio.”

Together, the two businesses will be able to further digitize manufacturing by providing a series of smart management tools that can be integrated into existing IT. So far, Elements has already aided Carpenter Additive, an increasingly important player in the AM industry and much more so in the larger world of production. The company discusses the benefits that Elements has brought it in the video below.

“The real story of Industry 4.0 has yet to be written. The last 20 years have been wasted focusing on predictive maintenance and analytics, which have yielded very little Return on Investment. It’s time to refocus on what’s core to manufacturing: the worker,” said Joe Handsaker, CEO of Elements Technology. “Supporting them with data and modern tools gives us more context in manufacturing and allows us to drive better quality, insight, and completely new business models. If nothing else, the pandemic has shown that a radical rethink of the way things are made and delivered is necessary. We’re delighted to have found a partner that understands that and are excited to build a better future, together.”

This is an important development not just for Authentise, but 3D printing as a whole. Though there are only a handful of players in the segment (many of whom have been acquired), MES is crucial to the maturation of AM and its incorporation into larger production operations. In order for this technology to come out of the R&D lab and into end part manufacturing, traceability and quality control are essential requirements. Authentise is demonstrating its ability to bridge the gap between what was previously a prototyping method and mainstream production by purchasing a firm that is already in that space. The end result will be that AM will be able to move more fluidly into that space, as well.

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